5 Keys to the Perfect Drool-Worthy Food Photo

This is how you get all the likes.

January 13, 2016
summer dinner
Adrianna Adarme

What is it about documenting what we eat that is so fascinating? It just is. A good food photo has the ability to transport others to your table, leaving them drooling and wishing they were eating whatever you've just artfully displayed.

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But as with all beautiful things, there's an art to creating the photo that'll take you to double-digit likes. Here are some tips I've learned for achieving a drool-worthy food photo:

pink corn photo
Adrianna Adarme

1. Shoot with natural, indirect light.
Unless you're Terry Richardson, trying to make food look sexy, never turn on your flash. Instead, shoot by a window using indirect sunlight. Pay attention to the direction of the light, too. Are you shooting a drink? Shoot into the light! Light streaming through drinks looks oh so pretty.

2. Don't shoot food too closely.
Back up. If you're too close, people can't see the actual food. I want to see the world in which you eat. I want to see the plate, the drink you're having with the food, the fork you are using. I want the whole world, not just a sliver of it.

summer dinner photo
Adrianna Adarme


3. Change your angle. 
If you're shooting on your phone, which most likely has a wide-angle lens, you might notice that shooting straight on creates a bit of a fish-eye effect—you see too much and things are a bit warped. If this is happening, opt to position the camera at a three- quarters angle (slightly higher than straight on) or directly overhead.

4. Use props.
Don't feel shy about moving plates and glasses around or putting a fork in the right place. People may stare, but you're doing it for the 'gram. 

fluffy meringue
Adrianna Adarme

5. Use filters with restraint.
This isn't the 1970s! Various apps out there, including Instagram, allow you to apply a filter, and then bring it down a notch. Do this!

Adapted from The Year of Cozy